The Ultimate Reset: A Summation

Today marks the first day after my 21 days of The Ultimate Reset. I set out to do this program as a cleanse: to detox my body of all the yuckiness that comes from not making healthy food choices. It is described as a workout for your insides and that is definitely an accurate decision. There were times when I felt aches and pains from inside that seemed odd to me but were just a part of the process of my body resetting itself. Here are some of my thoughts from the past 21 days and how I am moving forward after this:

1st day of the Ultimate Reset- March 1st

  1. The program moved in stages so I was gradually cutting food out until the final week was pretty much just veggies and fruit and healthy fats. The transition out of the program should be the same. I didn’t actually account for the transition period when I first decided to do the program so it is butting up against some celebrations/holidays (ehem, Easter) but I am so happy about the way I am feeling, I don’t even mind missing out on coconut custard pie.
  2. When you remove meat and sugar from your diet, you don’t crave it. You don’t even miss it…not even a little bit. I am amazed that the things I craved were simple: peanut butter (I eat natural peanut butter with no sugar), eggs, oatmeal (I could eat it in Stage 1 but not beyond that) and my daily Shakeology which was reduced to a half serving each day and some days none at all.
  3. Today’s meal plan: I am keeping it simple today and close to the previous days: Breakfast was fruit salad with walnuts, snack was vegan chocolate Shakeology with peanut butter, lunch was hearty vegetable miso soup and Moroccan carrot salad over mixed greens, afternoon snack was 2 pitted Medjool dates and green tea and dinner is roasted beets, coconut collard greens and 2 pieces of baked tempeh (I found a tempeh that I like, hurrah!)
  4. How I felt: Week 1 was tough. I had classic symptoms of cleansing like headaches, body aches, fatigue (I went to bed at 8PM almost every night that week), brain fog and cramping/pain in my lower abdomen. It was definitely tough on those days but I took it easy and gave myself a break. I allowed myself to go to bed early and to rest. Week 2 was easier and Week 3 even easier although I did feel a bit hungry on some days during Week 3. I determined I was not drinking enough water and fixing that took care of my hunger.
  5. Doing a program like this is transformative. It makes you rethink the food you eat. I am not saying I am going to be fanatical about it…I need to live too but I am saying that eating like this made me feel better inside and out than I have eating in any other way so I will be working to keep most of the principles of the program in my life when planning meals. Today I spent some time during meal prep making some of my favorite recipes from the Reset.

Now that it is over, I am moving on to my next workout program but haven’t yet decided what it will be. I am going to be doing some sample workouts from each this week and will post. Will you help me decide?

Would you be brave enough to take on a program like The Ultimate Reset? Most of us think it’s too hard and we won’t have the willpower. The thing I found amazing is that it didn’t even take willpower. I knew what I was going to be eating and I planned and packed for every occasion. Sometimes it was annoying but I never felt like I was missing out. When I get together for dinner with friends, it isn’t the food that’s important, but the company!

So, at the end of 3 weeks, I lost 7 lbs and 7 inches overall and I have a ton more energy and am ready to take on the next challenge!

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

This recipe couldn’t be any easier. It features the crockpot, the busy person’s favorite invention. Let’s face it, some days are too busy to stand over the stove or some days you just don’t want to. It’s also a crowd pleaser! I made it this week for a friend’s family and they loved it! I love making food for friends, it’s an easy way to help a friend who’s busy or stressed or been through a rough time or thank them for everything they have done for you. I was blessed to receive meals when little Miss K was a baby and it was the most amazing gift to know that dinner was taken care of and one thing was off my plate!

As a side note, ginger is quickly becoming one of my favorite, most versatile ingredients in my cooking. I keep it in my refrigerator at all times because it works in tea, in savory dishes and in sweets!

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Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sesame oil, divided

1/2 medium sized onion, diced

4 chicken breasts (can be fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 inch long piece of peeled, fresh ginger, grated

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 green onion, sliced thinly

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

In a saute pan over high heat, add 1 tsp sesame oil and saute onions until translucent. Transfer onions to crockpot and add chicken, Liquid Amino’s, coconut sugar, ginger, and lemon juice. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours (may need longer if you start with frozen chicken breasts). Approximately 1/2 hour before you plan to serve your meal, add the chopped broccoli florets to the crockpot and cook in the juice/sauce until tender. Plate and garnish with green onion and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. I served it over rice and it was delicious. So delicious in fact that I didn’t get a picture!

Shamrock Shake Fakeout

Well, I promised you this one yesterday and here it is! It’s St. Patrick’s Day which was never really a huge deal in our house growing up (we celebrated St. Joseph’s two days later with zeppole but I digress…) Although I can’t indulge in this recipe because I am following the meal plan for the Ultimate Reset, I did try it out a few months ago and it was delish. Skip that MacDonald’s Shamrock shake, goodness only knows what’s in it…definitely nothing of any nutritional value. My version is packed with healthy fats, iron and superfoods. Let me know what you think when you try it!

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A Better Shamrock Shake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk

8 oz. water

1/2 cup frozen spinach

1/2 ripe banana

1 tsp natural peanut butter or 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (like PB2)

1/2 tsp pure mint extract or 1 1/2 tsp chopped, fresh mint leaves (even better!)

1 scoop Vanilla or Greenberry (if using greenberry, omit spinach and add 8-10 ice cubes instead) Shakeology

1 tsp pure, grade B maple syrup or raw honey

Directions:

Blend until creamy and frothy. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey. Enjoy!

My thoughts: 2 weeks into the Ultimate Reset

Two weeks down, One to go….When I started my fitness journey, I knew I wanted to do The Ultimate Reset. It is right up my alley: I love programs that teach me about nutrition and the way what I eat affects my body. I have always been interested in nutrition. I knew the program would be tough to stick to so I chose a month where we didn’t have too many celebrations so I wouldn’t be faced with temptation (or so I thought). Here are my general thoughts now that I am more than halfway through the program and can see the finish line in sight!

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  1. There is never a perfect time to do a program like this. This program is 21 days of regimented eating and taking natural supplements at certain times of the day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty of food but there is no room for deviation. This isn’t a diet, it’s a detox so you need to stick to the plan 100% in order to see results and truly get all the benefits of the program. I picked March because it cleared the holidays, both kids birthdays and some other family birthdays but didn’t take into consideration other friend’s birthday parties we would go to, our family’s celebration of Nooruz (New Year) or that my transition period out of the program which requires you to slowly reintegrate the foods that were eliminated for 21 days would run right into Easter. So, I have some days ahead where I will be faced with temptation. Luckily, I am committed enough now to it that I will not stray but just know, there will never be a perfect time so you have to have the perfect mindset.
  2. Eating is 100% emotional. I was reading the guidebook for the program the other day when I had an evening attack of the hungries and it said that if you feel hungry, make sure it is actually hunger you are feeling. You may be thirsty or you made be trying to fill another need. BINGO. Hit the nail right on the head with that one. Have you ever had a rough day with the kids and all you want is a piece of chocolate? Same idea. I have been working to be more mindful of that feeling and this program is challenging me to do so but it’s a good challenge.
  3. Eating 3 meals a day is a huge adjustment. I am a snacker, a grazer. I like to be able to have something small between meals. My problem lies in when that something small becomes something big. On the Reset, I eat 3 meals a day that are larger in quantity (and in quality!) and sometimes have a mid-afternoon snack. Any you know what? I think I am less hungry eating this way than I am when I am constantly snacking.
  4. I could (and probably should) eat this way the majority of the time. I feel so much better eating vegan. I don’t really miss meat although I do miss eggs and yogurt (and cheese but cheese is a slippery slope for me as it is for so many of us! ) so perhaps I would adopt this way of eating 80% of the time but getting all my nutrient from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and some whole grains has been great for my body. I have notorious digestive issues that have never really been solved so diet is really where I try to work on those and the Reset has opened my eyes to the way I should be eating most of the time (well, ideally all of the time but I am human and Italian so probably not ALL of the time).
  5. And as for the foods I miss. I am surprised by this list but here are some of the foods I am looking forward to reintroducing into my diet: dates, peanut butter, eggs, coconut milk yogurt (which I plan to make myself), bananas, black tea (not so much for the caffeine but because I like the taste) and my healthy chocolate chip cookies. Not too bad. But notice, I don’t miss bread, I don’t even miss pasta…maybe pizza a little but even that didn’t come up first on my list!

I am excited to see and share my results next week! I can already say that I feel lighter…the bloat is gone! I know for some programs like this may seem crazy but it really brings such a mindfulness to how we fuel our bodies and I think we could all use that, especially in a world where food is consumed so fast that we barely have the time to think about what we just ate. I think this may become an annual tradition for me…everyone needs a good tune-up every now and then, right!

It’s been so long since last we met…

Anyone get that reference? It’s a throwback to my college days. Comment below if you get it!

Sorry I’ve been MIA. The first week of The Ultimate Reset kicked my butt and resulted in me being in bed most nights by 8PM. I didn’t have many new recipes to share, I figured, because I as eating strictly from the meal plan and following the recipes in there. And then I met the Microgreen Salad which I incidentally have eaten most afternoons on this program and decided I needed to share it. It is the most satisfying veggie-only salad I have ever had. Top it with miso sesame ginger dressing and your life will be complete!

Enjoy!

Microgreen Salad with Miso Sesame Ginger Dressing (from Ultimate Reset recipe guide)

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Ingredients:

For salad:

3 cups baby salad greens

1/4 medium carrot, shredded or sliced

1/2 medium cucumber, sliced or chopped

1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced

1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts

1/2 medium tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped jicama

1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

1/4 medium avocado, diced

For dressing (serving size 2 tbsp):

2 tbsp miso paste

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 tsp chopped ginger

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Whisk together all dressing ingredients until well incorporated. Throw all salad ingredients into bowl and top with dressing (see below)

OK, so not the most complicated recipe of all time but this is my new go-to salad!

Preparing for The Ultimate Reset

I posted a video last week talking about my next program now that Master’s Hammer & Chisel is over (as an aside, I can just giving myself a HUGE pat on the back for doing ALL 60 days with no cheating and no breaks), I have a new exciting goal…to complete Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset. I got the program last week and I spent the weekend reading the program guide and getting ready for my grocery shopping today. I am all shopped out and I am now officially ready to start tomorrow morning.

Let’s chat a bit about the program. It is a guided detox. It is NOT a fast. I will be eating real food but it will be mostly vegan and low in grains and there are supplements to take as well. I realize it seems involved but I love the science behind it and the idea of resetting my body so that it works better, I feel better and I can move forward to continue to make healthier decisions. Most of the food is completely normal to me but I am going to have to get used to eating miso soup (never been a big fan) and nori (also never been a big fan). I am committed and determined though to see this through and follow the meal plan to a T. I am going to be looking to all of you to keep me accountable and I can’t wait to see the results on Day 22.

When I make a promise to myself, I tend to stick to it. It isn’t worth it to cheat myself by not following it through. Stay tuned to follow my story and hear how it’s going!! On tomorrow’s menu: tempeh. Never had it but looking forward to trying it.IMG_20160211_180213127

Share your Spark!

20160219072958Fun swag! Check out my new t-shirt: cute and comfy! I got it in recognition of my hard work thus far in my health and fitness business. Five months ago I took a chance on an opportunity that was presented to me by a friend. I had a ton of self doubt. I remember telling my husband that all I wanted was to pay for my shakes. And that’s what I did that first month: I paid for my shakes. When I started really working hard and enjoying the work I was doing, I thought about the benefits this business could have for myself and for my family. I knew that going back to a traditional office setting once my daughter was older was not for me. So I jumped in, all in. Now it’s 5 months later and this week’s paycheck was SIX TIMES more than my first week’s. It means the difference between just paying for my shakes and paying for after school activities for my son or airfare to see my friends this summer for a college reunion weekend. Just in 5 months. I haven’t changed my schedule, I work around my daughter’s nap and from the comfort of my own home. No daycare, no babysitters, no changes to my family’s schedule. Imagine what the possibilities are for a year from now or 2?

Think about what extra income each week could mean to your family. Now think about what getting healthy and fit and becoming your best self while earning that money could mean. Now add in the bonuses of helping others to reach their goals and working with a team every day to do it. I offer a coaching internship/mentorship to everyone on my team. I will work with you, train you and give motivation and support to help you grow your business. I am looking for hard workers who want to create a life they love; a life that fits their vision and their dreams.

I know there are a lot of questions surrounding what I do, why I do it and how I do it and there are a lot of myths out there too. I am hosting a LIVE chat on Wednesday evening, February 24 at 8:30PM and I am inviting all of you to join me. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home! Bring your questions but bring an open mind.

To join the chat: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/809506563

Or iPhone one-tap:  14086380968,809506563# or 16465588656,809506563#

Or Telephone:

   Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

   Meeting ID: 809 506 563

   International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=oL3xxtqgzknrIgxv_I-KS66JzCSzjhbO

To apply for my coaching internship/mentorship: https://bethmirzai.wufoo.com/forms/mdyh7qe1h9mm96/. I only open 5 slots at a time to ensure I can focus on each individual person so hurry and grab yours today. 

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*Beachbody doesn’t guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence and skill.